“One of the most sublime parts of the city”
Xàtiva’s oldest church
Sant Feliu is one of the oldest churches of the Kingdom of Valencia. It was built in 1265 following the Christian conquest spearheaded by Jaume I, which coincided with the expansion of the Gothic style throughout Valencia. It lies at the foot of the castle close to the Bellveret viewpoint, on the site where the ancient Roman city of Saetabis once stood. It was erected over the remains of the old Visigoth cathedral.
Porch with Roman columns
Facing north, the porch occupies the entire side wall of the church. It is supported by six marble columns taken from ancient Roman buildings, some of which display the pink tinge characteristic of stone from the nearby quarries of Buixcarró. Interestingly, each is different from the rest.
The austere but magnificent Romanesque portal is one of the few examples of this architectural style to be found in Valencia, since the Christian conquest led by Jaume I coincided with the expansion of the Gothic style, and it is all the more striking for this reason.
Pila de Sant Feliu (The Font of Sant Feliu)
One of the most outstanding interior elements is the 13th century alabaster font worked in the Romanesque style and depicting scenes of the Nativity and the adoration of the shepherds. The base is adorned with floral ornamentation. Remains of its original polychrome can still be seen.
The walls were whitewashed, concealing unique murals dating to the first half of the 14th century. Now partially restored, they form the largest assemblage of mediaeval painting in linear Gothic or proto-Gothic style still preserved in the Region of Valencia. Altarpiece of San Nicolás de Bari, to the left of the main altarpiece.
The enthroned Virgin Mary, in the chapel bounded by the second and third arches.
There is also a San Cristobal and a Calvary in the second chapel on the right-hand side looking towards the altar.
The main altarpiece
The most prominent piece inside Sant Feliu is the imposing Gothic altarpiece behind the high altar. This came from the workshop of the Cabanes brothers and dates to the early 15th century. It contains 27 panel paintings in three sections, a predella and cornice, and two sculptures of a later date dedicated to Sant Feliu of Girona and Sant Félix of Lyon.
The altarpiece is a faithful reflection of its era, still linked to the Gothic style but with traces of the new Renaissance language. It was commissioned in the early 15th century by the jurats, municipal magistrates. For this reason it sports the coats of arms of the city and the Crown of Aragon.
Carretera del Castell
Winter opening times:
10:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 18:00.
Sundays 10:00 to 13:00.
Closed on Mondays.
Summer opening times:
10:00 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 19:00.
Sundays 10:00 to 13:00.